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Press Release

The Bard College New Orleans Initiative Presents "Bard in New Orleans: A Reeexamination of Civic Engagement," April 16–17

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON — The Bard College New Orleans Initiative presents a two-day symposium of panel discussions, films, and senior project presentations titled “Bard in New Orleans: A Reexamination of Civic Engagement,” on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17. The program begins Thursday the 16th at 7 p.m. in Preston Hall on the Bard College campus.

“Even though it’s been four years since Hurricane Katrina, Bard’s involvement in New Orleans is still going strong, both on campus and in the city,” says Maureen Crittenden, Bard junior and Trustee-Leadership Program scholar. The two-day symposium includes film screenings, panel discussions, and senior project presentations, featuring all of the Bard College New Orleans programs including the New Orleans Project, CEAP (Children’s Expressive Arts Project), the Broadmoor Community Development Fellowship, and Bard Urban Studies in New Orleans. For more information about the symposium or the Bard New Orleans Initiative call 504.940.4214, or email

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, April 16

7–9 p.m. in Preston Theater

Speaker from the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans, Hal Roark, will speak on his provocative grassroots initiative in the wake of Katrina. Introductions by Paul Marienthal, Stephen Tremaine, and possibly Leon Botstein. Following will be a student panel discussing all New Orleans related projects of Bard College: The New Orleans Project, CEAP (Children’s Expressive Arts Project), the Broadmoor Community Development Fellowship, and Bard Urban Studies in New Orleans. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

12–7 p.m. in Olin 102

12–1 p.m. Opening Panel: Student and professor discussion about the role of civic engagement in the academic world

1–3 p.m. Film and Discussion: A film about New Orleans youth produced documentaries focusing on life after Katrina.

3–4 p.m. Senior Project Panel: Students speak about their senior projects that involve New Orleans.

4–6 p.m. Film and Discussion: A film about a historic neighborhood in New Orleans with intriguing urban politics.

6–7 p.m. Closing Panel: “Sustainability and the Future of Civic Engagement at Bard: A Call to Arms”

About the Bard Urban Studies in New Orleans Program:

The New Orleans Initiative offers a unique and highly-selective 8-week program in New Orleans. The program's 20 students will investigate notions of urbanism, ecology, and social policy, both in seminar style-classes and in demanding internships. Students will be expected to take two courses and intern up to 40 hours per week. The New Orleans Initiative seeks to mobilize the vast and unique resources of the liberal arts institution — critical thought, rigorous education and robust social analysis — towards neighborhood-level revitalization projects in post-disaster New Orleans. By working alongside effected communities and youth, the Initiative creates replicable models for connecting the strengths of academic institutions with the real and pressing needs of local communities. Additional programs include The New Orleans Project, CEAP (Children’s Expressive Arts Project), the Broadmoor Community Development Fellowship, and Bard Urban Studies in New Orleans.

Hal Roark, Executive Director, Broadmoor Development Corporation is a resident of the Broadmoor neighborhood and holds a standing seat on the Board as Executive Director of the Broadmoor Development Corporation. He holds his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Yale University and his Master of Social Work from Tulane University. Mr. Roark brings extensive experience to the Board as the co-chair of Broadmoor’s Revitalization Committee and has acted as one of the leaders in Broadmoor’s redevelopment process. As co-chair of the Revitalization Committee, Mr. Roark assisted in the overall design of the BIA recovery efforts: promoting consensus on neighborhood policies, writing sections of the redevelopment plan, editing the entire plan, and negotiating resources for Broadmoor with donors. Roark was the founder and Executive Director of The Seton Resource Center for Child Development, a non-profit agency providing free school-based health services to inner city children and families. His work with the Education and Culture Subcommittee and students from Bard College, MIT, and Harvard University was integral in the movement to reopen Wilson Elementary School. Mr. Roark states, “I believe that this school’s success is integral to the redevelopment of our neighborhood and that the neighborhood can offer much support to the school. It is the philosophy of our school that every child can succeed given the right tools, a stimulating and safe environment, and opportunities to develop as learners.”


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This event was last updated on 04-09-2009